Subarus & Head Gaskets

We’ve owned 3 Subarus. 98 Forester, replaced both head gaskets at 125K miles. 03 Forester, needed head gaskets at 126K. Traded for a CRV rather than dropping another $1,500. Now my wife’s 06 Outback needs both head gaskets replaced at 110K. Is it me, or is there an issue here?

Its a legendary problem with certain Subaru engines. Two minutes of internet search will turn up more than you ever wanted to read about it.

The hope was that they got it fixed by 2005 or so…I guess not…

Did you change your coolant every 30k or so, with the Subaru brand?

Just make sure you research the “issues” common to the model year of your CRV. Early model engines are prone to valve damage if valves are not adjusted regularly. The was also a period when AC compressors were failing due to poor design. I have a 99 CRV that’s been great, but I make sure to keep the valves adjusted. Also, be sure to change the differential fluid as recommended.

That problem has been around since the 70s. One of these days Subaru will get it ironed out. Or not.

If the gaskets are simply weeping coolant or oil and not actually blown out you might try having the head bolts retorqued. This is a task that in theory is not supposed to be needed but in practice may solve the problem without replacing them.

I think I’d quit buying Subarus after the second failure.

It seems to be a persistent issue with non turbo Subaru’s.

My wife has owned a 1993 Legacy turbo(260k) and currently 2005 Legacy turbo(130k) and its a rare issue with these vehicles. The non turbo ones keep my Subaru independent mechanic busy, he said turbo’s very rare unless you overheat them and keep driving.

The funny part is everyone including her father said turbo cars mean trouble. But simply not the case.

Non turbo 2.5 l , that is. I think the non-turbos with the 2.2l engine, closed deck, don’t have this problem.